Paralysed Man Uses Exoskeleton To Walk On The Beach With His Children For The First Time
Simon Kindleysides, who has also used his exoskeleton to walk the London Marathon, decided to push the boundaries of what the technology is capable of to become the first person ever to walk on sand using such a machine.
Tired of sitting to the side whilst his children enjoyed their time by the seaside, Simon decided to get stuck in, whether the technology could handle it or not.
Simon discovered he had a brain tumour and would be paralysed back in 2013, and had a stroke two years later, but thanks to the generosity of an anonymous stranger he was given a new lease of life.
After a TV appearance, the mysterious stranger paid £100,000 ($130,000) for Simon to get a specialised ReWalk robotic exoskeleton.
Now, that suit has allowed him to spend quality time with his kids on the sands once again.
He explained: "Whenever I go to the beach with the kids, it's always like 'Daddy's holding the bags and coats and stuff' and I'm sitting at the side on the pathway.
"Then, when I asked the ReWalk company, I said - just out of curiosity - have you got any reports around the world of ReWalk walkers attempting to walk on sand?
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"They said 'no, no-one is brave enough'."
That's when Simon set his mind to the task.
"It was a bit daunting at first," he said. "I was a bit scared that I was going to sink in the sand, but I wasn't going to let fear get in the way of walking on there with my kids because it had been 10 years for me.
"I've never walked on the beach with my son or daughter, so that was quite something. They were so happy that I was there with them and it was very emotional and a bit overwhelming, really."
He added: "I just wanted to show the other ReWalk walkers that they shouldn't allow fear to take over.
"If the company had told me not to, I would have done it anyway. When my consultant told me not to do the London Marathon because I'd put my body through so much stress, I did it anyway.
"It was more about making memories with my kids. I can now say that I've walked on it, and now that I've done it once I can do it again, and it was a magical moment.
"There's so many able-bodied people out there who take their lives for granted and don't really do stuff with their kids. When you become paralysed with an inoperable brain tumour, you don't know when your last day is here.
"It's about making memories, isn't it? I don't want the kids to remember me laying in bed ill, I want them to remember me walking on the beach with them and throwing stones into the water."
Featured Image Credit: Simon Kindleysides
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